Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023:
DOT increases fines to keep up with inflation
The Department of Transportation on Thursday published a final rule announcing increased fines for its agencies, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration -- an annual move required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act.
The new fines were calculated, as required by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, by multiplying the penalty amount by the percent change between the October 2023 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and the October 2022 CPI-U. This year, that percentage change is 1.03241.
The new fine amounts for FMCSA, which can be seen here as well as below, are effective immediately.
On-the-job fatalities increased in trucking in 2022
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported this month in its annual Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries that the nation's transportation and warehousing industry had the most on-the-job fatalities of any category of workers.
In 2022, 1,620 workers in what the bureau classifies as "transportation and material moving occupations" died. That's an 8% increase from 2021, when there were 1,523 fatalities.
In 2022, the number of fatalities for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was 934 and for light truck drivers it was 95.
Of that number of heavy truck and tractor-trailer driver fatalities:
- 747 were from actual transportation incidents
- 56 were from exposure to hazardous materials or environments
- 29 were from violence and other injuries by persons or animals
- 27 were from falls, slips or trips
In all, there were 5,486 fatal work injuries recorded in the U.S. in 2022, a 5.7-percent increase from 5,190 in 2021, according to the bureau's census. That equates to a worker death every 96 minutes, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.